Composting with the proper tools will simplify your job. Some of these tools are not new, such as a spade, garden pitchfork, wheelbarrow, plastic or steel pails, etc. However, some are specifically designed as compost tools, for example, a compost thermometer.
Aside from listing the best composting tools you’ll need, I’ve also included some composting tips to improve your composting. They come from experience.
Table of Contents
What Tools Are Best for Composting?
For simplicity, let’s categorize the tools into three groupings:
- Waste collector tools
- Compost maintaining tools
- Compost harvesting tools
If you’re keen, the classification above includes every tool you’ll need from the beginning of compost until the harvesting stage.
I’ve included links for some of the tools which will direct you to the online market (Amazon) if you want to make a purchase.
Some you don’t really need, and for these, I’ve included some alternatives. Now, with these in place, let’s dive in.
Waste Collector Tools
Let’s begin with the kitchen. This’s where you get all the food waste for your compost.
1. Kitchen Compost Pail
It saves you from making a thousand trips to your outdoor compost bin to drop the kitchen scraps after every meal, especially during winter.
With a kitchen pail, you only need to drop the food scraps until it’s full, then you can take the waste to your compost bin.
There’re many pails to select from, ranging from average-looking to elaborate designs.
Whatever your taste, I suggest the stainless steel ones, which are easy to wash. Additionally, the pail needs a sturdy lid to keep the fruit flies out.
What to buy a kitchen compost pail?
You may also like the compostable food scrap bags to line your kitchen pail if the waste is soggy.
2. Garden Compost Shredder
It saves you time chopping the green and brown materials before adding them to the compost pile.
You can also use a heavy-duty compost shredder to make garden bedding, even from wood chips.
However, you can still chop the materials with a non-slippery garden machete.
You can save time and energy by using a compost accelerator to hasten the decomposition process.
Additionally, shredding the compost components into smaller pieces speeds up the decomposition process. The microorganisms won’t need much energy to break down the organic matter.
What to buy a garden compost shredder?
3. Compost Bin
This is where the cooking takes place. It’s where you place the organic matter to decompose. There are two types:
- Outdoor compost bins
- Indoor composters
Outdoor Composting bins
Indoor Compost Bins
The typical indoor composting method is called vermicomposting. For this method, you’ll require a worm bin (I recommend the Essential Living Composter).
You don’t necessarily need to buy a compost bin; you customize your own. If you have a large bin (maybe your extra garbage bin), you’re good to go. Remember to drill some side holes for aeration and drainage.
You can also heap the organic materials in one place in your garden. It will compost.
Compost Maintaining Tools
4. Compost Aerator
Also known as a compost turner. You’ll need an aerator to turn the compost pile to improve airflow and speed up the composting process.
Examples of compost aerators:
- pitchfork: I recommend the one with steel tines and shaft. It’s strong for turning heavy compost materials. It’s also durable.
- Spade: It comes in handy when turning finished compost.
5. Rain Collecting Container
Composting should not be done with chlorine-containing water. Chlorine harms the bacteria in compost.
Consequently, purchasing a rainwater reservoir is always a good option, especially if you plan to compost indoors.
6. Compost Monitoring Tools
- Compost thermometer. It’s useful in hot composting, especially if you want to measure the heat inside the compost and know when to turn it (I recommend this one here).
- Compost moisture meter. Useful in cold composting (i.e., vermicomposting), where the worm bedding needs consistent moisture (check out the Mecurate Digital Pin Moisture Meter).
- pH tester. As the name suggests, it’s for measuring the compost’s pH. The tester helps to regulate the compost by knowing what to add to meet your garden soil needs (I recommend this one here).
Compost Harvesting Tools
We’ve already mentioned most of the tools you’ll need for this job.
- Garden spade
- Compost storage containers
But you may need at least one more, a compost screener
7. Compost Screener
This is the last tool you’ll need before storing your compost pile. A compost sifter helps to separate the large unfinished particles from the finished compost before storing the compost.
You can buy a ready-made sifter or build one yourself; you’ll need small gauged wire mesh and some wood slats to make the flame.
What to buy a compost screener?
8. Compost Storage Container
After the fertilizer is ready, you’ll need waterproof (not airproof) containers to store the compost.
The composting bin can make a suitable storage container if you’re not planning to compost for a while. However, you can have the compost heap in bags and stored in a dry store.
In summary, the top 3 composting tools you’ll definitely need are;
- A garden machete. You’ll use it for chopping the composting materials
- A tuning fork. You’ll need to turn the compost pile for it to cook and mature.
- A wheelbarrow or a pail. You’ll need to move the compost from one place to another.
At least the above hand tools can serve for small-scale composting. Nonetheless, having most of the tools listed above will make the work twice faster and easier.